How Fluke Has Reinvented Voltage Measurements
In three easy steps, professionals can calculate voltage and current simultaneously all whileminimizing the risk of electrical shocks.
By Laura Davis
Aiming to make electrical testing safer for tech- nicians, Fluke Corporation has developed clamp meters that can measure voltage without anycontact with live wires. While there are many non-contact clamp meters on the market, Fluke’s is the only onethat can make measurements without any test leads—minimizing shock risks while delivering accurate voltage and current values.
New Equipment Digest spoke with Susan Isaac, Product Manager for Fluke Corporation about the 377/378FC Non-Contact True-RMS AC/DC clamp meters thatare saving professionals quality time and increasingtheir safety in the process.
New Equipment Digest (NED): Tell us a little
bit about Fluke’s latest clamp meters.
Susan Isaac (SI): The Fluke 377 and 378 FCNon-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Metersare electrical test tools, made for industrial electricians.They differ from existing clamp meters in three ways:• they enable accurate voltage measurement throughthe clamp jaw;
• the voltage measurement is made without touchinga live conductor;
• the display shows both voltage and current readings.This allows electricians to make voltage measurements faster and in a safer manner than currently possible.
NED: Can you explain how the clamp meters
provide a reading without touching live wires?
SI: These clamp meters use Fluke’s patented FieldSense technology. The clamp is connected to any groundpoint, using the included alligator clip, and generates areference signal to ground. When clamped around a liveconductor, it senses the electrical field generated by theconductor and measures how that field interacts withthe reference signal. The voltage is then calculated andshown on the display.
Because FieldSense allows users to make voltage andcurrent measurements simultaneously, it can make complex measurements and calculations far simpler thancurrent methods.
NED: What were the forces that lead to
development and how did the end product
measure up to expectations?
SI: First in line is safety, followed by ease of use, andthen faster results. All three goals were met. By notneeding to work with exposed, energized conductors,electricians can get the answers they need while spending less time in potential arc flash zones.
A full set of three-phase measurements—both phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground—can be made by clamping around each phase conductor. This has been shownto save over 50% of the time currently required to takethese readings.
NED: How does Fluke Connect software help
users to form a preventative maintenance
SI: The 377 FC and 378 FC clamps are able to communicate with a smartphone using Fluke Connect software. Readings that are sent from the clamp are stored inthe cloud and can be retrieved, reviewed, and graphed.Changes in periodic readings are often indicators of equipment that is on a path toward failure. By spotting thesesmall changes before they become total failures, preventivemaintenance can be scheduled for a convenient time. Thealternative of “run to failure” leads to catastrophic shutdowns and expensive, unplanned repairs.
*New Equipment Digest, in collaboration with Fluke, is offering our readers a chance to win the 378 FC clamp meter. Enter for your chance to win at https://newequipment.com/21165405.